It is quite clear we are living in times of change. And this change is affecting us all: individuals, social organisations, administrations, businesses…. We are all on the same boat. A boat navigating on rough waters, with a destination that is sometimes unclear.
All of the decisions we make, no matter how insignificant they might feel, have an effect on the direction of this boat.
Of course, the decisions made by powerful people will have more impact, but everything sums up. When we decide to buy local products instead of shopping in a supermarket, when we avoid packaging or recycle, when we become members of an association or volunteer, when we switch off the light when leaving a room… And while these decisions do make a difference, imagine the impact of those taken by large companies.
Fortunately, some companies go much further than a simple Corporate Social Responsibility department, and its sometimes paternalistic relation with social organisations. These businesses truly think about how their decisions and their actions can create a real positive change for people’s lives, for the environment or for the society.
Among these companies, there is a model of entrepreneur, who, beyond the money and the dream of making a living with their company, wishes to make things better. This is not a fad, or something new. But they are more and more numerous: SOCIAL BUSINESSES. Initiatives that don’t require external help, such as grants, to grow, but that aim at generating a social or environmental change. Some were born within a social organisation; others were created by people who truly want to change the rules of the game.
At Camaleo, we are lucky to be part of the trainers of the IVth programme for social entrepreneurship of the Aragon region in Spain, and to be collaborating with some of these initiatives, such as Ingoa Running.
We can’t resist telling you about some of the stories we use to inspire these change-makers. These are only a few examples among others, and they are incredible. Is social entrepreneurship the future of social organisations? We can’t tell yet. But it is clear that they will be stakeholders to be taken into account.
- MINE KAFON: A low-cost sphere, created by an Afghan man, inspired by the toys of his childhood, which can blow up anti-personnel landmines by using the energy of the wind, thus saving many lives.
- AVANI: This company is based in Indonesia, the second country most affected in the world by plastic pollution. It has created ecological bags out of cassava, entirely biodegradable. You can follow their campaigns on social networks with the hashtag #IAmNotPlastic
- KADAFRICA : This social business helps numerous young women get out of poverty in Uganda, thanks to the growing and commercialisation of passion fruit, without dependence on grants.
What about you, do you know social businesses that are worth discovering? Tell us about it!